Chapter 106:

Tannit vs the Hawk God

Elyon - Gods among us

The heat was overwhelming, and the surroundings were painted in red by the colossal star hovering over what was once a planet. Flares that sprang from the star's surface acted like whips, speeding towards the massive asteroid where Tania and Heshuka stood.

—It's been a while since I've fought in an environment as inhospitable as this. The heat is unbearable, and the gravity is crushing my bones, yet for some reason, I feel lighter than ever— thought Tania, watching the hawk god leap towards her.

With her fiery claw-like hand, the Punic goddess quickly blocked Heshuka's fiery kick. Using the momentum, she hurled him towards another floating asteroid. Heshuka crashed into it, destroying it on impact.

—Could it be that being on that continent and forcing my transformation, despite the anti-deity barrier, allowed me to amplify my powers to this level?— Tania wondered as she saw Heshuka reappear and light up as intensely as the massive star overshadowing them.

—He's powerful, I'm sure of it, similar to Ares. No, even stronger. Yet, I managed to withstand his initial onslaught and dodge the second— Tania continued thinking.

—Did Athena know this was a way to surpass our limits?— she wondered.

—I must admit you've got talent, young one. But this ends here— Heshuka said mockingly. Setting his body aflame, the god began shooting hundreds of fiery feathers like arrows, chanting: —Keékaʾuʾkaáwiʾuʾ

The arrows pierced and obliterated floating asteroids. Some even struck the massive sun, creating flaming holes in its surface.

Tania shouted: —Uph-arimat Eshar—. With her burning nails, she deflected as many arrows as possible. Once she cleared the arrows, Tania lunged at Heshuka, trying to strike him with her blazing claws. But the hawk god swiftly grabbed the goddess's hands.

—What's wrong, Tannit? Is that all you've got?— he jeered, delivering a powerful headbutt.

The collision sent shockwaves that cracked the asteroids and created waves on the enormous star. Bloodied, Tania instinctively returned the headbutt with equal force.

Heshuka released Tania, who seized the opportunity to land a powerful kick on his abdomen. The king of Cahokia was hurled through several asteroids before floating in space.

Tania took a running stance and lunged at the god, cleaving him in half. Heshuka spat blood as his body, from shoulder to groin, began to slowly separate while he drifted.

—It's been a while since I've fought with all my might, but thanks to my training, even this isn't enough to beat me— Tania remarked.

Suddenly, she heard the hawk god laughing.

—There were five hundred soldiers in Cahokia, but each city in my empire houses soldiers who channel my power. Can you fathom the total?— Heshuka said, his body repairing itself.

Golden energies began to swirl around Heshuka, alarming Tania. She tried to halt his surge, but a shockwave pushed her away.

—There are over two thousand soldiers! This is my true power, Tannit!— Heshuka shouted. Tania, horrified, watched everything around her get obliterated in a heat wave. Asteroids vanished, and a massive hole appeared in the hovering sun due to Heshuka's overwhelming might.

—This power exceeds even Ares' when he merged with his children— Tania observed, shielding herself from Heshuka's flames.

The wave subsided to reveal a deranged-looking Heshuka. —The sacrifices— Tania realized. —He's lost his sanity from accumulating so much power—

Heshuka's laughter grew manic. —I've never fully unleashed this power before, but it's spectacular!— he shouted crazily. Pointing two fingers at Tania, fiery beams shot from the sun towards her as he whispered a spell: —Sakuúru waaruucak

The beams fell at a surprising speed, which Tania avoided as best she could, but some managed to strike her right leg and left shoulder. Massive holes that looked like magma appeared on the goddess's impact points, making her wince in pain.

—What's the matter, Tannit? Can't get close?— the hawk god taunted, continuing to orchestrate the descent of the sun's fiery rays with two fingers.

—Those damned rays are like concentrated suns— Tania thought as she kept dodging. —I need to get out of here, or else I won't be able to initiate my offense—

She positioned herself as if preparing to race and lunged at the hawk god like a saw blade. But Heshuka materialized a flaming mace, forged from the sun's flames above, and struck the goddess who was rushing in to slice him again.

Tania doubled over, a grimace of agony on her face. Heshuka, then, thrust Tania with his scorching mace towards the sun. Upon impact, a nuclear explosion ensued.

—Come on, Tannit! Surely, a mere sun can't extinguish your life, right?— Heshuka mocked.

Inside the sun, although able to withstand its heat, the goddess still felt overwhelmed. She touched her abdomen, feeling her broken ribs.

—That's the second time this fool has shattered my bones— she thought.

Struggling, Tania got up, but to her dismay, Heshuka had entered the sun to finish her off. She quickly jabbed him in the chest with her venomous tail.

—What's this? Poison?— Heshuka inquired, pausing from Tania's tail attack. He then grabbed her fiery tail and ripped it off as if it were a brittle twig.

—My blood boils hotter than the power of your fire venom. This will do nothing to me!— he yelled, preparing to kick her. However, Tania shielded herself with her arms, to little avail as his powerful kick broke her limbs and thrust her deeper into the sun.

Lying on the sun's surface, which felt like boiling magma, Tania breathed deeply as her ichor mended her wounds.

—He's too strong, way too strong. He'll kill me if I don't do something— she thought, lying on the sun's surface.

Suddenly, she felt a compression in her vicinity. She leaped away just as a vast explosion erupted from the surface. Narrowly avoiding it, Tania realized Heshuka, with his palm raised, had created the atomic explosion.

—Still got enough blood to move?— he taunted. —But rest assured, there'll soon be nothing left of you—

Tania then conjured her moon of fire overhead, grabbing it with her right hand and shouting: —Shani Lemah—. She hurled the attack at Heshuka, but he evaded it.

—Simple attacks like that won't work on me— he said, continuing to cause explosions with his uplifted hand. But unbeknownst to him, Tania's moon returned like a boomerang, embedding in Heshuka's back.

—Damn bitch!— he roared in rage. As Tania positioned herself in front of him, hands raised to the sky, she hurled a massive fireball, shouting: —Esh Kela – Safar: Beth-resh

The moon and fireball exploded simultaneously over Heshuka, causing the sun's flames to part like a sea. But once the attack's light faded, Heshuka was seen in a defensive posture, arms shielding his face. Though significantly injured, his wounds were swiftly healing from his own ichor.

When Heshuka lowered his arms, a lunging Tania was revealed, her fiery claws slashing his face multiple times. Heshuka's fire mask fell onto the solar surface, revealing the hawk god's face.

He had white hair and slightly tanned skin. His amber eyes reflected madness and anxiety. Strikingly, his face bore many scars, particularly one running from his forehead to the left side of his nose.

—You're sick, and you need to cure yourself of that addiction to human blood— Tania commented as she looked at Heshuka's face.

The hawk god began to laugh maniacally, and then he looked at the goddess with madness in his eyes as he asked her: —What do you know?—

—I too was under the addiction of human blood, but there's a solution to it— Tania shouted anxiously, to which Heshuka only laughed again.

—What do you know about being the last survivor of your race? What do you know about your planet being destroyed and your family dying by your own hands? Do you think everyone has had a happy life like you? I don't care about plunging into darkness as long as it means perpetuating the last remnant of my blood!— Heshuka yelled at the goddess with a look full of pain, but at the same time, ecstasy. It was clear that the god was deeply disturbed.

Tania understood that she couldn't negotiate with this man and that if he remained alive, he would continue to massacre her people in his empire. Tania knew she couldn't let him proceed. The voices within her warned her.

Tania and Heshuka jumped towards each other. Heshuka held his solar mace with his right hand, while Tania had her claws open. The two gods collided as the hawk god struck Tania's face with his mace, and the goddess buried her claws in the sides of the god's abdomen.

The gods then recovered from the collision and began clashing their attacks as they flew over the surface of the sun. The impacts of these attacks created huge shockwaves that tore holes in the fire of the star.

Heshuka then held his mace with both hands and struck Tania's side with all his might, splitting her body in half, just as Tania, from her mouth, unleashed a powerful ray of fire that obliterated Heshuka's head with the attack. Both bodies were sent flying apart and fell onto the surface of the sun.

Tania was slowly recovering from her injuries, while Heshuka's body was healing much faster, and he managed to get to his feet more quickly.

The hawk god, seeing his absolute victory as he stood while Tania was still recovering, made his fire mace disappear, joined his hands, and stretched his arms towards Tania, showing his palms.

—You know, Tannit? I didn't want to attack you with all my power, because I wanted to keep you as a prisoner in Cahokia, but I didn't expect you to be such a tough opponent— the hawk god commented.

—But I won't hesitate anymore. With this attack, I will erase you from the face of this universe, and your ashes will become part of this sun— he warned.

Then, waves of fire began to circulate around Heshuka, emanating from the solar surface. At that moment, an unprecedented phenomenon occurred—the sun's half went completely dark as it surrounded the hawk god's body, while the fire concentrated in his palms.

Sakuúru kuriítuʾraawiʾat— Heshuka shouted. Then, the waves of fire converged into a spherical form, creating a gigantic fiery beam that shot out from his palms. The beam was so large that it could be seen even thousands of light-years away as a great fiery beam escaping from the sun. The massive blast destroyed several nearby planets and was lost in the infinite space.

The size of the star diminished significantly as the fire once again covered the solar body completely. Heshuka was breathing heavily but smiling because he knew he had ended the goddess.

—If that bitch Anath comes here, I'll kill her the same way— he said and began laughing.

But his smile didn't last long, as he looked up in the sky and saw Tania's severed body floating above him. The goddess had her hands raised towards the sky and had created a gigantic fire sphere. She looked at Heshuka with a furious gaze.

—Come on, my body. Surpass all your limits!— thought the Punic goddess as her body trembled with pain, still increasing the size of the fire sphere. Its brilliance was so intense that it could be seen from several light-years away.

Heshuka, seeing the enormous star that Tania had created, once again gathered waves of fire around his body and aimed his palms at Tania.

—Don't think I'll let you throw that at me— the god shouted.

—Spirits within my body, I beseech you as your servant, help me create a more peaceful world where people won't have the same fate as you!— Tania cried out.

At that moment, an enormous torrent of energy radiated from the goddess's body and embedded itself in the massive sphere above her. The size was massive, like that of a moon. Though it was huge for Tania's size, it still paled in comparison to the size of the enormous sun where Heshuka was gathering his power.

The massive sun once again went partially dark, but this time three-quarters of its body went dark, while all of its fiery power revolved around Heshuka.

—Tannit, I'm going to destroy this entire planetary system with this attack, I hope you're pleased that you'll be part of the remains of this dying star!— Heshuka shouted, ready to unleash a gigantic fiery wave once again.

—This is my ultimate power!— Tania cried out as she lowered her hands to launch her massive fireball.

—Sakuúru kuriítuʾraawiʾat!— Heshuka yelled at the top of his lungs.

—Esh Kela - Safar: Qnem!— Tania shouted furiously.

The massive wave of fire collided with Tania's fiery sphere. Both gods exerted their utmost effort, manipulating the enormous power in their hands, as red thunder emanated from the clash of such potent energy, and space endured terrible undulations causing cataclysms in the neighboring planets.

At that moment, Heshuka's body began to burst from within. His bones, his internal organs, his muscles all started to explode and evaporate in the intense heat.

—It's... impossible... I'm... stronger than you— Heshuka exclaimed, shocked to see his body unable to withstand the clash of techniques.

—You are— Tania exclaimed, —but you use a power that isn't yours and you haven't yet trained to control... You're nothing more than a pipe about to burst from the excess water within!—

Tania's gigantic fireball then began to rapidly push Heshuka's massive solar wave and crashed into the god with full force, as he screamed in terror.

Everything suddenly illuminated. The colossal sun caused an implosion and wiped out the entire planetary system around it in seconds. Tania shielded herself as best she could from the enormous explosion, but felt she wouldn't survive because she had no reserve ichor.

The massive shockwave propelled the mutilated body of the goddess millions of kilometers away. Almost unconscious, she saw the majestic universe around her and smiled.

At that moment, the goddess felt a massive gravitational force pulling her in. The goddess had no means left to avoid being pulverized by the black hole created by the dead sun. But just then, Tania vanished.

The goddess's body reappeared in the temple where Heshuka had sat. There, Susanoo and Tul, both injured, were trying to activate the portal to Ckaárus. They had managed to teleport just in time... or had they?

—Ch'úupal!— Tul shouted excitedly and hugged the goddess, oblivious to her severe condition.

—Am...bro...sía— Tania said, her voice almost dead.

Seeing Tania's body torn in half, Susanoo screamed in horror.

—I'll get Anpiel, please don't die, Tania-san!— the Oriental god exclaimed and left.

—Ch'úupal, did you defeat him? Did you beat the hawk-man?— Tul asked.

—Yes... Tul— Tania said, her voice choked, but smiling contentedly at the sight of the weeping rabbit goddess, who continued hugging the Punic goddess.

Tul then took out a small jar of water from her bag and gave it to Tania to drink.

—This will make you feel better, ch'úupal— she said.

Tania drank it and grimaced in disgust.

—This tastes awful!— she complained.

But immediately she began to feel her body slowly reconstructing. Her ichor had slightly increased, allowing her to regenerate the lower half of her body.

Tania then sat up. She hadn't completely restored her ichor, but it had saved her from death. The rabbit goddess awaited praise, but instead of a pat on the head, Tania hugged her tightly.

—You saved my life, Tul, thank you!— she said.

—It was nothing, ch'úupal. You saved me from prison and fed me— Tul replied, tears in her eyes.

—Plus, you saved me from being swallowed by a black hole when you teleported me here— Tania added.

—About that... actually, we couldn't activate the portal since neither of us were gods of this civilization— the rabbit goddess said, looking remorseful.

At that moment, Tania understood. With his last breath, Heshuka had pulled Tania away from certain death.

—Even my enemies need to save my life, I must have the worst or best luck— she thought.